‘Gold Rush’ mines fascinating group of veterans for Season 11

‘Gold Rush’ mines fascinating group of veterans for Season 11

‘Gold Rush’ mines fascinating group of veterans for Season 11

This group of “Gold Rush” miners is like none of their predecessors on the top-rated Discovery collection.

“Gold Rush” returns Friday for Season 11 with a two-hour episode (8-10 p.m.) and a brand new mining boss: Fred Lewis, a former particular forces medical sergeant and linguist who’s assembled a workforce of 5 veteran friends to dig for gold in a ghost city close to Sumpter, Ore.

“They’ve all overcome obstacles,” says Lewis, 42, who took a bullet to the helmet in Afghanistan. “What we’re making an attempt to do is to provide them a brand new drive in life, a brand new goal. Two guys have been set to go to the police academy and COVID stopped that. I used to be presupposed to be within the Yukon however the border was closed as a result of COVID. I additionally coach highschool wrestling and that stopped.

“We have been compelled to fend for ourselves,” he says.  “To not sound cliched, but it surely was ‘s–t or get off the pot’ and this was in all probability the very best time to do that.”

The Lewis workforce contains battle-scarred veterans Kendell Madden (Air Power); Stuart McKenzie, a former infantry sniper whose hand was blown off by a roadside bomb then re-attached (he’s now a bodybuilder); Stefan Typically, a Inexperienced Beret who served for 26 years with 12 deployments; Kyle Pletzke, whose pelvis was shattered in a rollover accident in Afghanistan; and John Stanz, a former Marine raider with two Purple Hearts who was in a coma after being blown up by a roadside bomb. “He was given 0 % likelihood of residing they usually stated he’d by no means speak,” says Lewis. “Now he’s he’s super-obnoxious.”

Fred Lewis and Kendell Madden
Fred Lewis and Kendell MaddenDiscovery Channel

Whereas that is his first time as a mine boss, Lewis may be very conversant in the “Gold Rush” world. Three years in the past, he accompanied collection star Parker Schnabel to Papua, New Guinea as his safety chief and medic, then labored behind the scenes on “Gold Rush” final season (within the Yukon). He additionally traveled with Schnabel to Australia.

“I noticed how gold impacts villages and began to get and was selecting up increasingly more [about mining] and fascinated about what I might do,” he says. When COVID put an finish to his Yukon sojourn, Lewis was requested to assemble a workforce. “My thought was at all times that I needed to do that with a workforce of vets,” he says. “I knew we might pull this collectively. I pitched it to Discovery this July and three weeks later was chosen as the following mine boss.

“We went proper into the gauntlet,” he says, “proper from pitching it to assembly the declare homeowners and negotiating the lease. I financed all of this with my very own cash and with two of my different veteran associates …between the three of us we pooled our cash and invested within the alternative. Lots of people suppose Discovery pays for every little thing — that is all us.”

Fred Lewis and Kendell Madden
Fred Lewis and Kendell MaddenDiscovery Channel

And, with Lewis aware of gold costs being very excessive, he ready himself to embark on his mining expedition.

“I needed to run my very own intel,” he says. “I assumed exterior the field. I did a whole lot of analysis on the biggest gold reserves close to me [in Eastern Washington], spending numerous time on microfiche making an attempt relating to historic knowledge and discovering this space that’s a ghost city … that was by no means mined earlier than. I used to show highschool biology and we examined some ash that was 4,000 years outdated in floor that had by no means been dug.

“This season is a good success so far as the operation,” he says. “We’re residing the American dream, up in a ghost city, and we’re the one residents. Regardless of how a lot gold we discover, we’re all going to profit.”

Lewis, whose spouse Khara additionally served within the navy (former psychological operations), says he hasn’t seen any of his episodes but.

“I like to look at it on TV for the primary time,” he says. “On Friday at 8 we’ll be about 260 folks at an area bar for the premiere get together. We’re going to look at it — then get up the following morning and go mining.”

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